PHOTO BY EDUARDO GONZALEZ/THE PIONEER
I have attended California State University, East Bay for only two years, but I am what some people would refer to as a “super senior.” However, there is a reason for my prolonged academic career.
I went directly to community college after high school and did what many students do—jump back-and-forth between majors because I had no idea about what I was interested in.
I figured that I could stick it out at Chabot College as long as I could and focus primarily on taking general education courses while I decided on a career path.
The procrastination continued for roughly four years before it came to a sudden stop.
I was diagnosed with cancer during my time in community college, which ultimately put my education and entire life on hold.
I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which, fortunately, did not set me too far back because it has one of the highest cure and remission rates of the cancers.
The entire process, which included the diagnosis, lasted roughly a year and a half. I used that time to do an extensive amount of research on my condition, find myself through the spirituality of reggae music, book shows for my band and think about my future.
I decided to take a year off from school after I finished chemotherapy and radiation treatment to figure out what I really wanted out of life, but also because I felt physically weak.
Long-story-short: I decided to continue my education and study communication.
I had already tapped out my financial-aid by that point but was too proud to ask my parents to fund my education. I made it a goal to become a bartender so that I could afford it myself.
I was hired at Trader Vic’s, a tiki-bar in Emeryville, Calif., shortly after without any prior bartending experience and within six months, I became the manager.
It was tough to balance out a 36 to 48-hour work week with my school schedule, but I ultimately managed to reach my academic goal and attend CSUEB.
I took my first journalism class at CSUEB with Dr. Nolan Higdon and absolutely hated it. It seemed like the research, interviews and writing in the Associated Press style was an insane amount of work to do. However, I started to take note of my corrections, learned the basics and became intrigued by the overall process.
Eventually, I signed up for all of the required journalism classes in the communication department and applied to be a staff writer as soon as I completed them.
My primary focus in journalistic writing was on the music scene in the San Francisco, Bay Area. I have also been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to write about the cultural differences between the Bay Area and London during my study abroad program.
I was promoted to managing editor at The Pioneer newspaper when I returned to the Bay Area after my trip and in a few weeks the opportunity to become the new editor-in-chief was presented to me—I obviously took the position.
I am excited to be the new editor-in-chief at The Pioneer and want to make a difference before I graduate from CSUEB. My first objective was to turn The Pioneer office into a more fun workspace and so far my staff and I have done a pretty good job.
My goal for The Pioneer is to expand from print to digital media by utilizing CSUEB’s studio. This will consist of video and radio interviews from professionals on and off campus in regard to pitched stories that will ultimately be uploaded to our website and social media platforms.
I want to welcome any students, faculty and staff who are interested to join our Monday evening meetings to pitch ideas for future print issues.